Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Prize

Gathering your equipment is one of the first things you do as soon as you arrive at the sanctuary. Some of the volunteers have their own cleaning buckets and brushes, but none of them have a pooper-scooper. Guests on the tour often ask how we clean the cat's deposits since they don't use litter boxes. Most of the people are impressed when shown the buckets, which consist of plastic buckets that used to contain litter for domestic cats, grill brushes that used to clean a bar-b-que grill and tongs. The question still remains, how do you get the pooh close enough to you to pick it up with the tongs?

Well, the volunteers use long metal "sticks" (pooper-scooper) that have a right angle so they can scrape and pull whatever they need over to them. This could include spice bags used for enrichment, creatures that have made a mistake in getting too close to the cats or anything the cat can find. It can be challenging to reach whatever you see that needs to be picked up especially if you have one of the shorter pooper-scoopers. They come in different lengths and it's not unusual to see a volunteer in a contorted position trying to reach something in a Cat-A-Tat.

As you can see, having the right pooper-scooper is very valuable to a volunteer. So, it's not unusual to hear a "yeah" when a volunteer picks the longest pooper-scooper. There is only one that is double jointed and longer than the others. It doesn't look any different than the others. It doesn't stand out. All of the scoopers are stored laying down vs. standing upright. It's only when you look closely and see the double joint as a smile forms on your face knowing you have succeeded and have picked what is highly sought after-The Prize.